Program Requirements

History Major Requirements

Students majoring in history must complete a minimum of 33 credits.

Note: There are additional specific requirements for history majors who are also majoring in inclusive adolescence education. Please refer to these specific course requirements in the box below under Additional Requirements for Students Seeking Adolescence Teaching Certification in Social Studies.

History Program Requirements
Required courses (5 courses) (15)
HIST 101D P3 Europe and the World, 1500–1815
HIST 102D P3 Europe and the World Since 1815
HIST 103D P3 The United States to 1865
HIST 104D P3 The United States Since 1865
Choose one: HIST 291D P3 Japan Since 1800
HIST 292D P3 China Since 1800
HIST electives (6 courses) (18)
Note: See the general major and departmental concentrations below.
At least two of the six elective courses must be at or above the 300 level.
Total (33)

For students majoring in history, all courses designated as history (HIST) courses are included in the determination of the grade point average in the major. At least 17 of the required 33 HIST credits must be taken at St. John Fisher College.

The General Major

The student must complete a minimum of 18 credits beyond the required 15 credits. The courses are selected from the five departmental concentrations, with at least one course from each of the following concentrations: North American Studies, European Studies, Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies, and Asian Studies. At least two of the six elective courses must be at or above the 300 level.

Departmental Concentrations

The student may elect a departmental concentration in North American Studies; European Studies; Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies; Asian Studies; or Public History Studies. A student must complete at least three courses within the chosen concentration and at least one course in each of the other three concentrations. Public History Studies however, has its own set of requirements that must be completed in addition to the requirements for the general history major.

North American Studies

Dr. Stephen Valone, Director

Offering basic, thematic, and topical courses, North American studies invites students to develop their analytical skills. Guiding its participants through the entire American historical experience, this program examines the significance of America’s successes and failures in both domestic and foreign policies. Consequently, it provides a solid foundation for graduate study or American government service.

North American Studies Course Offerings

European Studies

Dr. Frederick H. Dotolo III, Director

The European Studies concentration emphasizes the homeland of Western civilization. Though European powers no longer dominate the world, the culture of Europe is still enormously influential. The purpose of this concentration is to make the student aware of the richness and variety of the European tradition and its influence on the rest of the world. Particular emphasis is given to the concept of Europe, which includes a community of nations related by common bonds extending to the borders of Asia.

European Studies Course Offerings

Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies

Dr. Oliver Griffin, Director

Modern states have sought to protect their interests and project their policies through the instruments of foreign relations. Following the Napoleonic Wars, the basic conduct of international affairs became increasingly complex and centered rapidly around the essential security issues of survival and defense. The publication of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege (On War) shortly thereafter was both evidence of and stimulus to the militarization of greater Europe. The Franco-Prussian War of 1871 accelerated, and World War I firmly established, the tenets of strategic doctrine as the basis of foreign relations throughout the Western world, including the United States. The most significant debates of 20th-century history, therefore, may be found in the alternating use of military or diplomatic means to achieve national strategic goals.

This concentration seeks to introduce students to the principal issues that have shaped the history of foreign relations and global affairs. It offers participants the opportunity to study the policies, strategies, wars, and ideologies that have produced the most profound conflict and compromise in human history. Designed for the general history major, it is especially useful for students interested in pursuing graduate or legal studies, or careers in government, defense, or foreign service.

Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies Courses

Asian Studies

Dr. Lawrence Fouraker, Director

We are living in what some predict will be the “Pacific Century,” when the countries of Asia exercise more power and influence than they have for hundreds of years. Yet many Americans have little accurate knowledge of the diverse countries and cultures of Asia, home to half of the world’s population. This concentration seeks to challenge myths and stereotypes about the people of Asia through surveys, comparative studies, and advanced topics courses.

Asian Studies Course Offerings

Public History Studies

Dr. Carolyn Vacca, Director

In addition to the four departmental concentrations listed above, a student may also choose a concentration in public history, which is history practically applied and made available to a public audience. Museum presentations or exhibits, television documentaries, and historic preservation initiatives are among the many forms of public history. Public historians are employed by a wide variety of institutions such as archives, historical houses or societies, museums, government institutions, consulting firms, history libraries, and websites. They work with both primary and secondary source materials, not only in their own research but also to improve the resources’ accessibility for others. As an academic discipline, public history focuses on the efficient and ethical management of historical resources and collective memories.

There are numerous graduate programs throughout the nation for students who wish to enter the profession, including the State University of New York at Albany, Columbia, Cornell, New York University, and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, all here in New York.

The National Council on Public History ( has more information on advanced educational and employment opportunities, as well as grant programs, in the field.

Requirements for Public History

Unlike the four departmental concentrations, there is no separate listing of courses for public history. Instead, students complete the following:

Public History Concentration Requirements
Choose one: HIST 223 P5 Culture and Cuisine (3)
HIST 250C P2 History of the Papacy
HIST 296D History of Rochester
HIST 298D New York State History
HIST Elective (with written approval of Dr. Carolyn Vacca)
Choose one: HIST 390 Public History: Historians and the Community (3)
HIST 395 The Usable Past
HIST 490 Internship (in a local museum, archives, historical house/society) (3)
Total (9)

Remaining electives for the major must be chosen to ensure that at least one major course is completed from each of the other four concentration areas. Students with questions about public history should contact Dr. Carolyn Vacca.

Additional Requirements for Students Seeking Adolescence Teaching Certification in Social Studies

History provides an outstanding foundation for adolescence teaching certification in social studies. Students pursuing teaching certification dual-major in inclusive adolescence education and history, and receive a bachelor of science degree. The following specific requirements must be completed:

  • Inclusive adolescence education major (46)
    The major includes education courses, field experiences, and student teaching, as well as courses for Certification in Students with Disabilities (7–12), and Middle School Extension in the content area (5–6). See Inclusive Adolescence Education for details.
  • In addition to the five required history courses for the major, the following courses must be taken as part of the required six electives for the history major:
    Two electives from European Studies, one of which must be:
    HIST 300 - The Modern World: Geography and Politics
    (HIST 208 - Ancient and Medieval Europe is also strongly recommended)
    One elective from Asian Studies
    One elective from North American Studies
    (HIST 298D - New York State History is strongly recommended)
    One elective from Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies
    One elective from any of the departmental concentrations
    (A HIST course in global history to 1500 is strongly recommended)
  • One economics course chosen from: (3)
    ECON 105C P3 Principles of Microeconomics
    ECON 106C P3 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • POSC 111C P3 Introduction to American Government (3)

Note: These requirements add only six additional credits to the content area of the history major. As early as possible, students should consult with an education advisor to set up a program leading to certification.